STORY FROM: Drugs & Medical Devices

Joinder of Sales Rep in Spinal Device Case Destroys Diversity Jurisdiction, Federal Judge Rules

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An Alabama federal judge has remanded a spinal fixation system case filed against Synthes Spine Inc., ruling that the plaintiff asserted viable claims against an in-state sales representative, thereby destroying diversity jurisdiction.

On Jan. 17, Judge Abdul Kallon of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama found the Synthes sales representative could be considered a “seller” under the Alabama Extended Manufacturer’s Liability Doctrine (AEMLD) because he was present during the plaintiff’s surgery and provided guidance to the surgeon.

Brenda Crowe underwent back surgery, during which her neurosurgeon used the Synthes MATRIX Spine System, a ...

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Maynard Cooper & Gale
Miller Weisbrod
Scruggs Dodd & Brisendine

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